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Purim Songs in the Age of #METoo

03/12/2019 11:16:58 PM


Esther tends to get the credit for being the heroine in the Purim story. After all, she was the one who saved the Jewish people from Haman’s evil plot. But Esther would never have been made queen had it not been for another woman who often gets over looked – Queen Vashti. Vashti was the one who took a stand and refused to be objectified by King Achasveros. She’s a hero of biblical portions for today’s #MeToo movement.

While there have been dozens of songs written about Esther over the years, Vashti songs are harder to find. Thanks to social media, two Vashti songs – one new and one old – have found their way into the Purim song canon this year:

“Take a Stand (A Song for an Unsung Hero of Purim)” by Rebecca Schoffer


Rebecca Schoffer, of 92Y’s Shababa network, turns Vashti’s story into a catchy musical lesson for children of all ages. She teaches us when it okay to say no and when it is not. We can say no to peer pressure, name-calling, and bullying, but we can’t refuse to clean our rooms or eat brussels sprouts. At heart, we’re all “good through and through,” sings Schoffer. Vashti is a role model because she knew that she was beautiful and strong on the inside.

“She Said No!” by Rabbi Gella Rayzel Raphael, Margot Stein, Bayla Ruchama, and Juliet Spitzer (MIRAJ)

This song was actually written in 1988, but as Rabbi Rayzel Raphael posted on Facebook earlier this week, she decided to “dust it off” for this year’s Purim. With its tight harmonies and strong message, the song captures the inner beauty of both Vashti and Esther, both of whom took a stand: Vashti to save her dignity and Esther to save her people.

Let the women of the Megillah be an example to us all as we celebrate the triumph of good over evil in the Purim story.  


Thu, June 30 2022 1 Tammuz 5782